Monday, November 2, 2015

Departure . . . Snapshots

Just before:

Don't Go . . .

As much as you look forward to a trip, there are things you treasure that you have to leave behind. Yesterday I said good bye to my kitties, who crowded behind me as I walked out the door. My sister is already on a trip and I am staying at her almost empty house as my launch point. I get an enthusiastic greeting from her three kitties. lonely despite the lavish attention they get from their doting kitty sitter, who comes in daily to feed and to play. Then they realize that it's not Mommy who just arrived. Bentley, a litter mate and virtual twin to my Henley, hangs with me. The other two return to their previous pursuits.

I get a morning wake up call from Bentley. He washes my chin thoroughly.  He's a sweet boy. He watches me repack.

"Don't go," he pleads. Yes. I understand cat talk.

He looks so sad when he realizes I really am leaving.

Killing Time . . .

 Sister's neighbor drives me to the Rapid Transit station. He didn't want to make me late, so allowed half an hour for a 10 or 15 minute drive. I have arrived at the airport in plenty of time!  I'd already built in about a 2½ hour pre-arrival. I check my bags and get my gate assignment. My two traveling companions, coming from a different direction. will arrive quite awhile later with tales to tell of delays.

Two more waiting.

No one seems to share my amusement . . .

We got notice with the email invitation to print out our boarding passes yesterday that the flight would be leaving late, at 4:10. The sign on the wall in the waiting area by the gate doesn't reflect the change in departure time. I'm amused that it proposes loading -- say -- 500 passengers in 15 minutes.

I'm even more amused when the the numbers at the gate now have us boarding at 3:45 and leaving at 3:45.

Eventually we do board. My friends' seats aren't near mine, so we disappear into the plane on different ramps.

Our A380 is rolling out to the runway at 4:39. My nose is pressed to the glass and I'm more excited than I can remember about a flight.



  1. Air France definitely has the strangest boarding protocol I've ever encountered. Does anyone understand their system? Or does it make sense to the French and ours seems weird? Who knows?

  2. At SFO they used to load passengers in the rear seats first, then call forward. In Paris, it used to be the challenge game. You try to guess where the best line will be and then sidle in as near to the front of the line as you can sidle. I've been flying on the A380 when I can and it's got almost 500 people waiting to board and acoustics are too bad to hear announcements. I think there are about four different entrances to the plane. There is a priority boarding gate and a gate for everybody else with a sorting system inside the gate to take a ramp based on where your seat is into queues for the different entrances.

    This time at CDG, there were Disneyland lines so you couldn't cut in very close to the head of the line. I don't think I'd call this a protocol. I have mainly traveled by Air France for years, so have grown accustomed the appearance of disorganization. I'd forgotten that I've adapted.